Content cuts to help the BBC stay on track to save £ 1bn a year
The BBC was on track to save £ 1 billion this year due to the reduction in content and scope of services, according to a report by the National Audit Office.
The company has reduced the amount of broadcast television it offers to royalty payers and the volume of reruns shown on the BBC’s three main television channels has increased, the NAO has revealed.
There was a 22% increase in reruns on BBC 1, which was part of the BBC’s strategy to cope with a change in audience viewing habits while working on a limited budget.
Until recently, the Company has attempted to limit the reductions in TV and radio content it offers.
Yet in September 2021, the BBC estimated that 41% of its annual savings would come from reductions in content and scope of services.
The forecast also suggested that 12% of his savings would come from income generation and 11% from changes in schedule mix.
But the BBC has improved accessibility to content by extending the length of time programs are available on iPlayer and launching BBC Sounds, the NAO said.
In the report, he said the BBC is set to exceed its initial savings target of £ 800million and is on track to meet its increased target of £ 1billion per year.
Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “Over the past decade, the BBC has consistently saved money and is largely on track to meet its annual savings target of £ 1 billion from ‘by 2021-2022.
“However, over the next few years it will need to realize significant additional savings while addressing a series of other challenges, including declining audience share.
“The BBC needs to ensure that its savings plans do not further erode its position with the public.”
The report also revealed that the BBC was planning to embark on a new savings program from 2022 to 2023 that would require further content and service cuts in its television, radio and news operations.
However, the Company is negotiating with the government on the level of license fees from next year and the result could significantly increase the savings it will have to realize.
A BBC statement said: ‘The NAO report concludes that the BBC has achieved nearly £ 1 billion in savings over the past five years – significantly more than our original target of £ 800million – and continues to be the UK’s most widely used media organization.
“We will continue to focus on modernizing, improving efficiency and prioritizing spend on a range of high quality content to ensure value for money to all license payers. “